Monday, July 31, 2017

Richard Tuttle | Open Carefully

Richard Tuttle
Open Carefully
New York City, USA: Sperone Westwater, 2000
10 x 23 x 3 cm.
Edition of 1000 signed and numbered copies

For his third solo exhibition at Sperone Westwater, Two With Any To, Richard Tuttle presented a series of painted plywood panels of various simple colors and shapes. Open Carefully, an unusual exhibition catalogue/artists' book/artists' multiple hybrid, was published in conjunction with the show.

The work consists of a hand painted plastic container, suggestive of a clam shell, which has compartments within an oval. One holds five painted stones and the other contains a small booklet of ten thumbnail images of recent sculptures. Lastly, a fan made out of five printed paper strands.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This Week on Tumblr: Inflatables

This week on tumblr: Inflatable and - in the case of the Koons balloon dog - not inflatable art works by Paul McCarthy, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Jon Sasaki, Keith Haring, David Shrigley, etc.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Robert Filliou | Hand Show

Robert Filliou
Hand Show
Villingen, Germany: Edition SABA-Studio, 1967
30 × 24 × 4 cm
Edition of 150 signed and numbered copies

A wooden box with a sliding plexiglass lid housing 25 photographic reproduction sheets on card, illustrating the left hands of artist, including Andy Warhol, John Cage, Christo, Roy Lichtenstein, Arman, Jasper Johns, Ray Johnson, Alison Knowles, Jackson Mac Low, Emmett Williams, Ay-O, Robert Watts, and others.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Endre Tót | 12 dozen Berliner gladness postcards (1973-1978)

Endre Tót
12 dozen Berliner gladness postcards (1973-1978)
Berlin, Germany Edition Herta, 1979
[6] pp., 15 x 11 cm., loose leaves
Edition of 500

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bruno Munari | Libro Letto

Bruno Munari
Libro Letto
[Place unknown], Interflex, 1993
[6] pp., 70 x 70 x 2 cm., quilted
Edition size unknown

"It's a book to live in, you can have a sleep between its little pages".

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Christian Marclay + CCMC

Michael Snow, Christian Marclay, Paul Dutton, John Oswald
Christian Marclay + CCMC
Toronto/London, Canada: Art Metropole/Non Musica Rex,  2002
2 CD set
Edition of 1000, 25 of which were signed

Christian Marclay's first visit to Toronto (that I'm aware of) was for the Ben Portis curated exhibition at Oakville Galleries. The show was Marclay's first solo show in Canada, and the first to focus on his work with cinema, rather than music. It included a work that still remains a favourite today - Up & Out, which combines the visuals from the Antonioni film Blow Up, with the audio from the Brian DePalma quasi-remake, Blow Out.

I was at Art Metropole at the time and we approached Marclay about doing a performance while he was was town, which he shrugged off. He said he wasn't really interested in performing live anymore. "What about a performance with Michael Snow?", we asked, and he agreed instantly. 

Marclay, Snow, Paul Dutton and John Oswald performed to an over-capacity crowd at the Rivoli, and the performance was recorded with the possible aim of a future release. A year later, Portis approached me about co-publishing a double-CD with this performance, and another that he had organized short afterwards, in New York City. 

Ben was the founder of the No Music Festival, in London, Ontario, which took a similar approach of leveraging a local legendary noise band (in his case, the Nihilist Spasm Band) to coax New York performers (Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht, Jim O'Rourke, for example) to participate. He had just worked with Rachel Harrison, who he asked to photograph the show for the disc's tray card. 

Ben died last week after his car stalled on the highway. Another car hit him from behind and the car burst into flames. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

A memorial is being planned for September. A few brief obituaries can be read at the Canadian Art website, here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NPR: 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women

Earlier today, NPR posted Turning the Tables, a list of the "150 Greatest Albums Made By Women". Alongside the expected choices (Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith, Beyoncé, etc.) and some deserving but easily overlooked records (The Slits, MIA, ESG, etc.) were five disks that could be considered "artists' records":

Dolmen Music by Meredith Monk at #147

"With her voice, in its infinite permutations — gorgeous slides, ululations, breaths, cries, howls, drones — [Monk] navigated a landscape that seemed both familiar and strangely unfamiliar."

Plastic Ono Band by Yoko Ono at #136

"Jarring, experimental and stunning, Ono's album sounds like a head-on collision between her avant-garde art and Lennon's rock and roll (with touches of free jazz by way of an Ornette Coleman quartet on "AOS"). Yoko's voice is a powerful instrument, and it's honed to near perfection on this album; it ricochets with pre-punk raw aggression and incorporates hetai, a vocal style from Japanese kabuki theater."

Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros (with Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis) at #128

"Throughout her long and distinguished life, Pauline Oliveros abided by the philosophy and practice of deep listening, which is still actively studied by many people today. The album Deep Listening, made with the trombonist and composer Stuart Dempster and the vocalist and composer Paniaotis, was a signpost for a different way of making music. By playing inside of a massive underground cistern, they were able to craft an entirely unique sound on the album. The huge cistern they used at Fort Worden in Washington was effectively an instrument of its own. It supplied massive reverb — an astonishing 45 seconds of reverb, in fact, meaning that the notes they played seemed to hang in midair and stay there. Additional notes would then add to these notes, combining and recombining to create great big clouds of sound."

The Litanies of Satan by Diamanda Galas at #111 

"The album, which clocks in at twenty-eight spine-jolting minutes of Galás's wheezing, whispering and rhythmic wailing that can be heard into the next lifetime, is one of the most singularly influential avant-garde recordings to make its way out of hell and into our world. Artists including PJ Harvey and Zola Jesus have been shaken by The Litanies of Satan, thanks to Galás's stupefying vocal acrobatics — which suggest anything is possible if you dare to pick up a microphone and start screaming."

Big Science by Laurie Anderson at #80

"Big Science is simultaneously silly and prescient, and takes a refreshingly wry attitude to technology's perils compared to today's often obvious commentary on the subject."

Read the full article at, here.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jonathan Monk | Accidental Purchase #1, 2014

Jonathan Monk
Accidental Purchase #1, 2014
Book mounted on wood in acrylic glass
43.94 x 41.91 x 3.81 cm.
Unique work

"I collect books by artists.

This is something I am passionate about and it has become some kind of addiction. The search to find something more obscure to add to my collection often leads to slightly extreme measures. But I do try and focus on specific artists – my collection is not all encompassing.

One artist I'm fascinated by is Richard Prince. His books follow a not so traditional trajectory – repetition is a constant. The same book can appear in a number of different guises. Different covers, different languages, and different sizes.

I was fascinated to discover a series of Richard Prince books on American Muscle cars from the 1960's and 70's – they appeared to fit nicely into his overall production... and I'd never seen anything like it before - so I ordered them. They arrived beautifully packed from a small town in the middle of America – it felt like Christmas...

Once opened it became clear that these were not a publications by the artist Richard Prince but by a Chevrolet expert also named Richard Prince. Mistaken identity filling the shelves. These books became the first Accidental Purchases."
- Jonathan Monk

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Henri Chopin | Typewriter poems

Henri Chopin
Typewriter poems
Köln, Germany: Edition Hundertmark, 1982
[16] pp., 20.5 x 14.6 cm., staple-bound
Edition of 500 signed, numbered and dated copies

Available for $75.00 from JN Herlin Books, here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dave Dyment | Decade

Dave Dyment
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2017
28 x 13 cm.
Edition of 3 signed copies

My contribution to the MKG127 anniversary exhibition (see earlier post, and visit the gallery here) is a 14-volume mix tape of songs whose titles contain measurements of time, for example:

Two Weeks by FKA Twigs
14 Days by Life Without Buildings
48 Hours by The Clash
24 Hours by Joy Division
16 Minutes by Belleruche
17 Seconds by The Cure
7 Seconds by Neneh Cherry
5 Seconds by Twin Shadow
etc. etc.

Combined, the titles add up to exactly ten years.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jake and Dinos Chapman | Bring Me the Head of...

Jake and Dinos Chapman
Bring Me the Head of... 
London, UK: Karsten Schubert, 1996
VHS, 30 min
Edition of 200 signed and numbered copies

A thirty-minute film in which two porn actresses pleasure themselves using the head of gallerist Franco Toselli, whose nose has been replaced with a phallus (see previous post).

"I like the way pornography is like an industrial process of the thing which is the most unmechanical and unindustrial: the sexual act or the acts around the sexual act. Constantly in our work there is an attempt to make an object and run around the other side to watch it, in the same way as anyone else would watch it. That is the most infantile aspect of our work. It is a reflective narcissism. We like to be spectators of our own work. The video is the same thing. We wanted to submit this head to the people who made the video and say ‘We want you to neutralize this object’."

- Jake Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman | Bring Me the Head of...

Jake and Dinos Chapman
Bring Me the Head of...
Self-published, 1994
40.7 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm.
Edition of 15

In 1994, the Milan gallerist Franco Toselli was slated to exhibit the Chapmans’ sculpture Mummy and Daddy Chapman, produced the year before. When Toselli received the work - two mannequins with genitalia sprouting from various parts of their bodies - he refused to show it.

As revenge, the Chapmans remodelled the head of ‘Daddy Chapman’ and substituted a dildo for his nose. The work was cast in fibreglass and resin, painted and given a wig.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Again and Again

[Klein and Co.]
Again and Again
Toronto, Canada: MKG127, 2017
[unpaginated], 18.5 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm., boxed
Edition of 500

Michael Klein opened MKG127 ten years ago last month, and this gorgeous catalogue (and its accompanying exhibition) celebrates the gallery's milestone.

Housed inside a screen-printed clear box are single-fold booklets for each artist represented by the gallery, an accordion-fold timeline of every exhibition and project from the last decade, and a booklet of texts. The latter includes an interview with Klein by Robert Enright (whose previous interview subjects include Christo, Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, composer Gavin Bryars, filmmaker Peter Greenaway, etc. etc.), alongside personal essays by Sky Glaboush, Dan Adler, Elle Kurancid, Christina Ritchie and myself.

I confess to having had some serious skepticism about the project (the potential for navel gazing in an anniversary publication typically overwhelms), so consider this my volte-face. The title certainly includes some (earned) love and affection, but never tips over into outright sentimentality, and giving each artist their own brochure allows them to present their own work (sometimes documentation, sometimes an artist project for the page) on its own terms. Despite the fast turn around, nothing in the book feels hurried, which is a testament to Kleins Michael and Lily, and to Alex Bowron, who were responsible for wrangling the two dozen or more participants.

The project is beautifully designed by Emma Wright, and features a cover graphic by Laurel Woodcock. The book is dedicated in her memory.

Visit MKG127 here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Richard Long | River Avon Book

Richard Long
River Avon Book
Bristol, UK: Self-published, 1979
[34] pp., 15.8 x 14.2 x 1 cm., slipcase
Edition of 106

"I think the first mud work on paper was River Avon Book of 1979, where I had the idea to make this book with the pages dipped in muddy water. So I got all these sheets, quite big sheets, and after they had been dipped in the muddy water they were cut down and bound into these books. That was the first time I used paper with mud on it."
- Richard Long

Monday, July 17, 2017

Gerhard Richter | Eis

Gerhard Richter
Rome, Italy: Galleria Pieroni, 1981
158 pp., 20 cm x 12 cm., softcover
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies [+APs]

Published by Galleria Pieroni, who exhibited the works on the walls in 1981, Eis (Ice) is an artist book containing photographs of Greenland that the artist took 9 years prior, in 1972. The covers are each unique, made with lacquer on card, and folded into a dust jacket (see image 4, above).

The book has been reprinted as a facsimile in 2016 by Salon Verlag, Cologne, Germany, in an edition of 350 (see below) and in 2011 was released as a more standard trade edition.

A full accounting of the edition, from the artists' website:

• 90 copies, signed in pencil, numbered on the first page.
• 10 copies, signed in pencil, numbered with Roman numerals on the first and last page.
• 16 artist's proofs, signed in pencil, marked on the first page: a.p.
• 1 artist's proof without inside flaps, signed in pencil, marked on the first and last page: a.p.
• 2 copies, unmarked.
• Unknown (low) number of copies with offset printed colour cover, unmarked.